Author(s): ShapiraSchweitzer K, Habib M, Gepstein L, Seliktar D
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Abstract The purpose of this study was to assess the in vitro ability of two types of cardiomyocytes (cardiomyocytes derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESC-CM) and rat neonatal cardiomyocytes (rN-CM)) to survive and generate a functional cardiac syncytium in a three-dimensional in situ polymerizable hydrogel environment. Each cell type was cultured in a PEGylated fibrinogen (PF) hydrogel for up to two weeks while maturation and cardiac function were documented in terms of spontaneous contractile behavior and biomolecular organization. Quantitative contractile parameters including contraction amplitude and synchronization were measured by non-invasive image analysis. The rN-CM demonstrated the fastest maturation and the most significant spontaneous contraction. The hESC-CM maturation occurred between 10-14 days in culture, and exhibited less contraction amplitude and synchronization in comparison to the rN-CMs. The maturation of both cell types within the hydrogels was confirmed by cardiac-specific biomolecular markers, including alpha-sarcomeric actin, actinin, and connexin-43. Cellular responsiveness to isoproterenol, carbamylcholine and heptanol provided further evidence of the cardiac maturation in the 3-D PF hydrogel as well as identified a potential to use this system for in vitro drug screening. These findings indicate that the PF hydrogel biomaterial can be used as an in situ polymerizable biomaterial for stem cells and their cardiomyocyte derivatives.
This article was published in J Mol Cell Cardiol
and referenced in Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials